I'm Jacki Cammidge, but people call me 'Woman of Many Sticks' for my habit of making twiggy crafts.
As a child in England my parents took me along with my sister and two brothers to see many gardens that were open to the public, cathedrals and churches and manor houses, as well as towns and villages with ancient architecture.
This instilled in me a love for handcrafted items, and a sense of the worth of buildings made with pride. The romance of antiquity has stayed with me, colouring how I see the world now.
I lean towards the old and rustic, lichen covered and patina’d stones, moss encrusted roots, and the beauty and integrity of rusty iron objects.
Using rustic salvaged art in my garden gives me a sense of reverence and respect towards those that went before.
A gardener from a very young age, I’ve had lots of exposure to plants and how to grow them. In fact, I was so interested in plants that I got my training as a horticulturist. My interest in making unique crafts to display the plants that I love – especially the reliable and accommodating hardy succulents – came later on.
Combining my two passions – horticulture and rustic art – has provided me with a very satisfying lifestyle – living and working in the wild places I’ve called home instilled a love of all of nature’s quirks and gifts.
Gnarly driftwood, twisted old trees growing out of a cliff face high on a mountain, seeing wildlife and birds make their homes in old stumps and wildlife trees has given me an appreciation of natural wildcrafts.
For many years I designed and built my own garden crafts in a vacuum – there was no information on how to build all the unique salvaged garden art and crafts that I love to make – now it appears that the world has caught up, and I can help you to build the same crafts and funky stuff that has intrigued and fascinated me all this time.
Many people have asked me how I find these things, and even more importantly, how I get the ideas of what to make with them.
I’m always on the alert for ‘junque’ or thrift store treasures, continually on the hunt when I travel around for garage sales and flea markets.
When I see what most people call trash I think of how I can use it to make a succulent planter, unique garden sculpture or something useful out of what most people throw out.
To get ideas I look in magazines for inspiration to take garden art to a whole new level. I knew I had 'made' it, when my rustic garden shed got published too.
Instead of copying something exactly, I try and put my own spin on it, and make something totally unique.
Collecting twigs, beachcombing for driftwood and salvaging barnboards and weathered fence boards for other crafts keeps me busy for most of the year.
Even the snow doesn't slow me down much, I just put the gaiters on and go wading through to collect twigs and branches on the wild hillside where I live.
Join me in the creation of fun and different rustic crafts for your garden, using this site to help you find your inner artisan.
Sometimes, I use the name Eliza Lisle as my pen name - it's a whole lot easier to spell and sign! My grandmother was Annie Elizabeth Lisle before she married, and on the other side, my Mums favorite aunt was Auntie Lizzie.
There are lots of stories about her, let me tell you!
I was named for both of them, one from each side of the family, so using Eliza Lisle when things get too stressful and I want to escape comes naturally.